Register to reply

Difference in index refraction

by edmondng
Tags: difference, index, refraction
Share this thread:
Apr9-08, 04:46 PM
P: 160
What does a higher index of refraction really mean? I know about speed wavelength etc but lets say you have 2 different material to choose and ignoring other variables, and focal length, diameter are all the same between both material, would you choose a lower index refraction or higher.

Phys.Org News Partner Engineering news on
DIY glove-based tutor indicates muscle-memory potential
Tricorder XPRIZE: 10 teams advance in global competition to develop consumer-focused diagnostic device
Study shows local seismic isolation and damping methods provide optimal protection for essential computing equipment
Apr9-08, 08:51 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 1,571
One thing is that the curvature of the lens will be different.
This may or may not be important to you.
For multi element lenses I think they use different materials to correct for chromatic aberration in the final result.
Other than that no idea.
Apr12-08, 06:09 AM
P: 265
Depends on the application and what "material" we're talking about.
Eg. With lenses, they are graded index (which corrects for aberration) which on average has a low refractive index. Lenses that do not automatically correct for chromatic aberration may have a lower or higher index.

Apr14-08, 09:13 PM
Redbelly98's Avatar
P: 12,070
Difference in index refraction

A higher-index lens will require less curvature to give the same focal length as a lower-index lens. Spherical aberrations will be less severe owing to the reduced curvature.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Index of refraction Introductory Physics Homework 2
Index of refraction Introductory Physics Homework 1
Refraction index General Physics 4
Index of refraction Introductory Physics Homework 1
Refraction Index Introductory Physics Homework 4